Monday, 1 August 2011

Get the kids loving the outside with a bit of junior glamping!

Interiors and Homes

Want to create the perfect Junior Glamping experience for the Summer Holidays?  Interior Designer Jamie Hempsall has some helpful hints.

The summer holidays are upon us and if you want to keep children entertained outside the house then creating a junior glamping experience in your garden could be the answer. 
Your starting point has to be a terrific tent and things have moved on from the musty canvas variety that I remember as a child. 

The perfect Summer palace can be found in the form of the Rose & Mint Child’s Pavilion from Shop on Your Doorstep.  The pavilions have a multi-stripe fabric roof decorated with tassels and mini-gingham covered poles.  It has curtains which are embroidered with colourful dragonflies and comes with a padded floor quilt which is appliqued with a central lotus flower.  The octagonal shape is 160cm in diameter which gives plenty of room for entertaining, so do not be surprised if you have a plethora of requests for slumber parties or your own mini-glastonbury (£240; – 01843 808061).

Alternatively, I am sure that everyone will enjoy making the Union Flag Tent from Idyll Home the perfect base for holiday shenanigans with plenty of space at a 183cm diameter and 137cm high (£95; -  01630 695779).

There is nothing quite like the adventure of sleeping out under canvas, but you can make the experience more comfortable by including plenty of duvets, blankets and cushions to create the perfect Bedouin environment.  Alternatively, the Smooff Kidzz Lounge cushion (available in apple green or pink) provides a great cushion matt for playing and resting.  The covering is durable, washable and water-resistant which makes it perfect for use outside: a detachable pillow also makes it ideal for a bed base (£89.95; – 01462 349060).

The trick with outside camping has to be the chance to let your children have some independence whilst making them feel perfectly safe and appropriate light at night has to be a real consideration if you are going to make this the perfect summer solution.
Add some gentle exterior lights in the form of battery operated Light Up Plant Pots, available in a variety of colours to provide gentle comfort and an interesting feature to boot. (£7.99; – 0871 472 4250). 

To ease your little ones’ night-time journey back into the house, should they need to make late night visits to the bathroom (or a warm bed) you can create an “Alice in Wonderland” experience by installing “Glow in the Dark Stones”.  The crafted stones store daylight and shine in the dark, making them the perfect way for marking paths and borders to guide your little ones in.  Available in a pack of 40 for £12.99 ( – 08714 724250).

Reading light is also important and old style torches can be a faff.  Opt for a rechargeable camping lantern available from camping stores or the stylish Fatboy Edison the Petit (which will glow for six hours when fully charged - £55 from allupandon details as before).  Lanterns are generally easy for small fingers to use and provide the perfect background for midnight feasts – you just have to provide the snacks!

Jamie Hempsall, BIID is an award-winning interior designer.  Visit him at or contact him on 0800 032 1180.

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